Winter’s coming; it’s just around the corner. In fact, the air temperature is already dropping and mercury levels will increasingly struggle to get into double digits. Even though it’s a good time for swell in the Northern Hemisphere, lack of warmth and daylight hours are prohibitive for many wave warriors. It’s perhaps therefore time to seek out sunnier climes and get yourself gone for winter?
Freelance scribe Tez Plavenieks checks out five of the best overseas winter stand up paddle board destinations – read on for some warmth inducing inspiration.
The Valley Isle, the birthplace of SUP, Maui Wowee – whatever description you choose for this South Pacific ‘rock’ one thing’s for sure; you won’t be disappointed by paying a visit to Mecca. Maui in winter is a magnet for all sorts of wave action and with a plethora of breaks to choose from scoring is never going to be a problem.
Famous surf spots like Honolua Bay, Pavilions and Jaws draw wave slayers from all corners of the globe, all vying for their piece of SUP glory. Not quite as world class as neighbouring Oahu, the surf in Maui caters for a wider audience than just the elite. And if downwinders are your thing, then the regular Trade Winds of the Valley Isle will see you stoked off your noggin with the quality of coastal runs you can accomplish.
Warm, fun waves and some seriously attractive locals – Brazil is a spicy corner of the world where you’ll find a vibrant and buzzing culture with a good mix of waves to suit all skill levels.
The beaches of Brazil are usually packed out and many residents ride a variety of different wave craft. And let’s not forget the party factor of this sizzling South American country – after all, this is where you’ll find the world renowned Rio de Janeiro Carnival.
South Africa in winter gets pounded by relentless surf and with an almost endless coastline, on both sides of the continent; you could literally spend your whole life chasing world class waves from one side to the other.
Cape Town offers the colder water experience with a steadily building breeze through the day. If you fancy some offshore juice then early mornings are essential before it’s time to bust out the downwind stick or wind/kitesurf equipment. Head to Durban and you’ll find warmer temperatures and a dazzling array of fun to world class set ups.
Sharks? What sharks?
Fuerteventura is where Loco stand up paddle boarding do much of their winter R&D. Mr T chooses to base himself on this Canarian outcrop for a few months each season due to the consistency and regularity of surf conditions – a much need ingredient when designing the next Loco rip stick.
Fuerte is probably the least touristy of all the Canary Islands and offers a decent amount of choice for wave riding antics. The fabled Northern Track has a diverse array of reefs and points that all light up with winter swells, while the west side serves up slightly mellower options.
Decent nightlife around the buzzing north coast town of Corralejo completes the mix for those looking for after hours mischief – don’t forget to pay a visit to Corky’s Bar for some ‘as standard’ insanity.
*** Loco are planning a number of Fuerte based winter SUP coaching clinics. Give Joe a call for details on how to get sectioned in the Canaries ***
Australia is a fair old trek, but anyone making the pilgrimage will be rewarded with a whole host of SUPtastic choice of waves – whichever side of the country you head for.
The east coast has a mind bending array of beach and point breaks – but hordes of other water users. West Oz is the place to get away from it all with gnarly world class set ups that can literally take days to reach. Still, you can be sure of some wave action all to yourself.
South Australia has the Great Ocean Road area to explore which boasts miles of wide open white sand beaches while flat water enthusiasts will do well in the north of the country, Here you’ll discover an extensive network of placid paddling options – just mind the croc don’t getcha!
Wherever you choose to head this winter for sun and SUP frolics you’re almost sure to score if you do your research. Whatever your level, there’s a piece of stand up paddle boarding nirvana waiting for you. Pack your kit and get on a plane…